COVID-19 – The impact on teaching past, present, & future


  • Bernard A. Jones St. John’s University, New York



COVID-19 pandemic, crisis communication, crisis management plan (CMP), emotional intelligence, hybrid & online teaching model, racial & political unrest


This article is derived from the keynote speech delivered on November 12, 2020, at the Center for Teaching and Learning Enhancement in Higher Education Saxony (HDS) conference, “Higher Education Times of Crisis.” As an assistant professor teaching homeland security and emergency management at St. John’s University, I am honored for the opportunity to serve as the keynote speaker and as the author of this article. This article reflects my experiences as a crisis management professional and thoughts on lessons learned and best practices regarding crisis events that impact higher education institutions. Additionally, there is an exploration into how the COVID-19 global pandemic has significantly influenced higher education teaching and learning. Also, as an African American in the United States, it is necessary to discuss how both the racial climate and political instability have impacted higher education teaching and learning. The overarching goal is to help the higher education community better un- derstand how crisis events reshape how to plan for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from such events. The COVID-19 pandemic is an authentic wake-up call for organizations and, most importantly, higher education institutions. It is paramount that a renewed emphasis is placed on crisis management in higher education and the overall attention to resilience in the future.

Because of my experience responding to crisis events, it is imperative to utilize lessons learned and best practices to help educate on enhancing resilience at higher education institutions. It is no secret that crisis events, both human-made and natural, pose significant challenges to institutions unprepared to respond to such events. Unfortunately, this has been a reality in higher education, where a lack of attention to crisis management has become the norm.